Their approach promises a permanent cure and potential for protection against HIV
The HIV-1 virus has proved to be tenacious, inserting its genome permanently into its victims’ DNA, forcing patients to take a lifelong drug regimen to control the virus and prevent a fresh attack. Now, a team of Temple University School of Medicine researchers has designed a way to snip out the integrated HIV-1 genes for good.
“This is one important step on the path toward a permanent cure for AIDS,” says Kamel Khalili, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at Temple. Khalili and his colleague, Wenhui Hu, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Temple, led the work which marks the first successful attempt to eliminate latent HIV-1 virus from human cells. “It’s an exciting discovery, but it’s not yet ready to go into the clinic. It’s a proof of concept that we’re moving in the right direction,” added Dr. Khalili, who is also Director of the Center for Neurovirology and Director of the Comprehensive NeuroAIDS Center at Temple.
In a study published July 21 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Khalili and colleagues detail how they created molecular tools to delete the HIV-1 proviral DNA. When deployed, a combination of a DNA-snipping enzyme called a nuclease and a targeting strand of RNA called a guide RNA (gRNA) hunt down the viral genome and excise the HIV-1 DNA. From there, the cell’s gene repair machinery takes over, soldering the loose ends of the genome back together – resulting in virus-free cells.
“Since HIV-1 is never cleared by the immune system, removal of the virus is required in order to cure the disease,” says Khalili, whose research focuses on the neuropathogenesis of viral infections. The same technique could theoretically be used against a variety of viruses, he says.
The research shows that these molecular tools also hold promise as a therapeutic vaccine; cells armed with the nuclease-RNA combination proved impervious to HIV infection.
Worldwide, more than 33 million people have HIV, including more than 1 million in the United States. Every year, another 50,000 Americans contract the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Latest on: HIV
via Google News
The Latest on: HIV
- Facebook ads are spreading lies about anti-HIV drug PrEP. The company won't acton December 14, 2019 at 3:04 am
Advocates fear such ads could roll back decades of hard-won progress against HIV/Aids and are calling on Facebook to change its policies ...
- Taking shape: Scientists propose new structure for shell of HIV-1 viruson December 13, 2019 at 9:46 am
The matrix shell of the HIV-1 virus may have a different shape than previously thought, and a newly proposed model has significant implications for understanding how the virus functions, according to ...
- Cost saving-related Rx nonadherence found for 7 percent with HIVon December 13, 2019 at 6:57 am
Seven percent of persons with HIV infection report cost saving-related nonadherence to prescription medication, according to research published in the Dec. 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease ...
- Rectal microbes influence effectiveness of HIV vaccineon December 13, 2019 at 6:25 am
IMAGE: Microbes living in the rectum could make a difference to the effectiveness of experimental HIV vaccines, according to researchers at UC Davis. A vaccine similar to HVTN 111 given to... view ...
- GSK's ViiV seeks marketing license for baby-friendly HIV pillon December 13, 2019 at 2:46 am
British drugmaker GSK applied on Friday for a license to market its HIV drug dolutegravir in a formulation designed to be easier for babies and children who are living with the virus to swallow. About ...
- Cleveland’s backtracking on why it lost HIV grants is an object lesson on coming clean in the first placeon December 13, 2019 at 2:45 am
Late on Dec. 3 of last week, officials of the Jackson administration summoned reporters to City Hall to say they were mystified about why the state of Ohio was ending $1.5 million in annual grants to ...
- Macrophage-derived HIV-1 carries bioactive TGF-betaon December 13, 2019 at 2:15 am
Infected T cells and macrophages are the main producers of HIV-1 in infected individuals. Upon release from infected cells, HIV-1 incorporates various cellular membrane proteins, some of which are ...
- Free HIV medication ignores the larger issueon December 12, 2019 at 2:22 pm
As Leana S. Wen highlighted in her Dec. 9 op-ed, “Low-cost HIV drugs are a great idea. But not if patients can’t get them.,” although President Trump has proposed to provide free HIV prevention ...
- A New HIV Vaccine Effort With A Different Kind Of Strategyon December 12, 2019 at 10:47 am
Ever since the AIDS epidemic erupted nearly 40 years ago, researchers have tried to make a vaccine. The efforts typically end up like this: "Failure Of Latest HIV Vaccine Test: A 'Huge Disappointment.
- High burden of STIs in people starting treatment to prevent HIV infectionon December 12, 2019 at 6:29 am
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) – taking antiretroviral drugs to protect people from acquiring HIV infection—is revolutionising the prevention of HIV around the world. However, a global study led by ...
via Bing News